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Summary: François and his fellow teachers prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighborhood. Neither stuffy nor severe, his extravagant frankness often takes the students by surprise. But his classroom ethics is put to the test when his students begin to challenge his teaching methods ... (festival-cannes.fr)
Interesting insight into the classroom dynamics in a french inner city middle school. I found myself inevitably contrasting values and the attitude of the teenagers towards learning and the teacher with the english state system. Their teenagers may be surly but they at least engaged and seemed to value knowledge.
What a fascinating film. It all feels very genuine, real people dealing with real problems and often coming up short. It's absolutely gripping from start to finish, the documentary style immediately plunges you into the lives of the staff and the children. By the end, there isn't a single one you don't care about. There were only a few moments where I could sense the writer's hand at work and for the most part I was thoroughly impressed with this film that left me with so much to think about.
I don't know how valid it is, but it was wonderful. It was gripping. I kept fucking watching even though there were no Hollywood moments, or perhaps precisely because there were none. It's simply good to watch. You question who is right. Can there be a right? Who is perpetuating the broken system? Everyone? The teachers? The students?
Of all these superrealistic french, belgian etc. films I've seen (L'enfant and other films like it), this beats them all. Talk about a long film in which the realism kept you in it solely. I was nodding my head, speaking for them, I was touched, moved, happy with them, nail-biting etc. The teacher IS a teacher, never doubted it. Students real students. Must be. Anyways, it just gives you the real deal. Modern schools for you, from all angles. Hard as hell, full of everyday heroes. And noise.
For students in The Class, high school is pointless, in effect, a minimum security prison: to move through the system, you have to associate with people you dislike or despise, including your teacher. American high school films often conclude with small victories and a sense of closure. No victories, big or small, are presented here. This is an unsentimental film: its sensibility is French, but American viewers will have no trouble recognizing universal elements in the director's bleak vision.
A bold and clever film that somehow blends reality and fiction with spectacular results. First of all you feel huge respect and sympathy for the heroic teacher of a teenage hellmob... by the end the tables have been turned and you are internally debating a whole host of issues revolving around youth, education, justice, social class, migration and more. I'll admit I spent most of the time wondering how much was real-real and how much scripted, but overall, I found it a fascinating watch.
An engaging and unflinching look at an inner city public school year. Having the writer star in the film seems to work particularly well and adds a great deal of resonance to an already excellent film.
Although it lacks dramatic tension or an actual plot, the naturalism in which "Entre les murs" portrays school life makes for an absolutely engrossing and thought-provoking motion picture experience. Bégaudeau excels both as a screenwriter as well as a protagonist, as the film practically brims with immersive dialogues, both impeccably written and performed. Despite the lack of a robust emotional impact, the film still resonates and offers an unadorned yet captivating essay on modern education.
Everything here seems real, because Cantet, inspired by a cinéma-vérité style, puts on the screen not only classmates' conflicts, but racial, ethnic and social subjects that define the Europe of these days.
This movie is a huge lie. I went to high school, too, and in a much nicer neighborhood than this one. The students were not mixed-up but basically good kids who just needed a little patience, kindness, and understanding to straighten up and fly right. The teachers were not professionals doing their best with a difficult situation. Except for maybe six or eight people, they were all assholes
A delightful watch and I've never seen a movie about school quite like it, very authentic and engaging. I was a little bothered by the camerawork at the very beginning of the film, but it did not draw attention towards itself in a negative fashion as the story progressed. The teacher is the star here obviously, but the teenagers also did a remarkable job.
Damn, ungrateful kids! Refusing to learn, disrespecting the teacher and each other, showing up late and lazy. Difficult not to side with the teachers: I know I wouldn't last five minutes teaching a class like that. Obviously also interesting as a work of (presumably very factional) fiction posing as faction.
This was a really interesting film, but it felt a little too contrived at times, considering the effect it was going for. I love that it took a serious look at the day to day issues of contemporary education, and I found it interesting to see some of the differences that going to school in France entails.